INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Chuck Pagano offered what amounted to a two-steps-forward, one-step-back medical update Monday.
While he anticipates several injured players returning to the practice field this week, Erik Swoope is “week-to-week’’ after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. Pagano revealed the emerging tight end recently experienced swelling in one of his knees, necessitating the scope procedure.
“He needed to have some things cleaned up in there; nothing major,’’ Pagano said.
Losing Swoope is a setback for the offense and the player. He has made the transition from University of Miami power forward to NFL tight end, and was becoming more of a contributor on offense. Last season, Swoope generated his first pro seasonal stat line: 15 receptions, 297 yards, one touchdown. He possesses size – 6-5, 258 pounds – and the speed to create problems for defenses.
“He’s a mismatch guy and those guys are hard to find and hard to replace,’’ Pagano said. “We’ll miss him for a while, but he’ll be back.
“Erik was just coming on and doing well. He can play in space. He’s a big-body guy and can go make contested catches, make it hard on defenses to match up against.’’
Countering the loss of Swoope is the possible return of several players, including wide receiver Phillip Dorsett (hamstring), rookie running back Marlon Mack (shoulder), linebacker Jon Bostic (finger), guard Joe Haeg (burner) and offensive lineman Denzelle Good (unknown injury).
Center Ryan Kelly (foot) remains out but is “trending in the right direction,’’ according to Pagano. “He’s doing good with his rehab. Still I don’t have a timetable on him.’’
Defensive lineman Johnathan Hankins was held out of Sunday’s loss to Detroit. He still was dealing with an ankle injury suffered last week in practice.
“He probably could have played,’’ Pagano said. “That was me. I didn’t want him to play because he didn’t have the practice time under his belt.’’
Interest in Zuttah:
The Colts reportedly are having free-agent center/guard Jeremy Zuttah in for a visit, but Pagano insisted it has nothing to do with Kelly’s injury situation. Zuttah was a Pro Bowl alternate at center last season with the Baltimore Ravens.
“We’re down linemen and there’s not a lot of guys out there,’’ Pagano said. “He’s a guy that’s got a ton of experience. Bring him in, visit with him, kick the tires. We haven’t made any decision on that.
“We’re down guys. Don’t read anything into that based on Ryan’s status. When you’re down Haeg and you’re down Denzelle and (Brian) Schwenke’s still not back – he’s doing good, but he’s still not back – we’re going to bring guys in at all positions and keep evaluating.’’
Zuttah, 31, has appeared in 131 games, 117 as a starter at center and guard, during seven seasons with Tampa Bay and the Ravens. Baltimore traded him to San Francisco in the offseason and the 49ers released him earlier this month.